Tuesday, June 26, 2007


We went to see Evan Almighty. Good stuff.

I especially liked recasting the story without the whole "destroy-nearly-all-the-world" bits. But I guess that's what the rainbow promise was supposed to be all about.

Favorite bit: the speech where God tells Evan's wife to act on her prayers, as co-creator. (My word, not theirs.)

This God is a kind of "almighty" that I love.

Monday, June 25, 2007

with power comes responsibility

I'm currently reeling from the news that I was elected to lead the delegation of folks from our Annual Conference to General Conference next spring. I'm not entirely sure what this will mean (and I suspect its many meanings will come into being as we go along), but I'm sure that it feels like a daunting task.

In many ways.

But, before I get to the daunting, I ought to say how honored and flattered I feel. Whatever the reasons people felt compelled to vote for me, I feel honored that they would think me worthy of this role. Even those of us clergy who are given to cynicism about the church are likely to want to send good people to make church policy. We all have to live with church policy.

And, I hope my election is a sign of hope for things to come--in younger generations and in training and trusting new leaders. We don't always have a lot of hope when we talk about General Conference and denominational trends and such.

A lot of young people--and, most definitely, my dear friend Erika--advocated and campaigned toward my election. I don't think any of us really believed it possible until we saw the results of the first ballot.

So I'm hoping that being the person with the right to be on the Conference floor, participating in legislative committee and voting and all, will not be as frustrating as watching the Conference floor was 8 years ago. I don't have great confidence in the chances that things will go as I'd like at General Conference. (I'm too insistent that we need to be truly welcoming of gay and lesbian people, for example.) But I'm open to that possibility.

In the meantime, I have lots of prayerful figuring to do--what committee I'd most like to be on, how I'll relate to the others on the delegation and others in other delegations, whether to dress like others expect for delegates or like I'd prefer, how to balance being taken seriously and being a different, new style that the church might well need.

It's a good thing I have 'til April.

Monday, June 18, 2007

and off again

So many things seem blog-worthy, and then I let them slip by...so here I find myself checking last things and packing for my week away in warm ol' Redlands CA for our Annual Conference meeting. Church meetings in smoggy, hot inland CA. And, yet: I look forward to them. I get to room with dear friends, and share time with folks I don't see often enough. So I stayed up a bit longer than I meant to, making a pie to share.

I've been into making and baking lately. Since my dear husband's parents' apricot tree came into fruit, coincidental with the height of my Eat Local resolve, I've been working apricots into every meal, and experimenting in preservation. So, tonight, it was a batch of apricot salsa and an apricot pie that I thought I might be able to bring to offer to our gathering. Turns out that apricots make a pretty mean salsa... (And are good with carrots, salmon, ice cream, pie, bread, and more.)

Since our last batch of kitchen cabinets came to hang in our house, it's been fun putting things where they might *actually belong* in the kitchen. And then getting used to them. (I am amazed how even bizarre locations for cooking supplies, when they become habit, can seem "right." You'd think I'd adjust more quickly to the new locations. Maybe that's a part of my extra motivation for cooking these days--to re-set my habits in reaching for the right cupboard. It occurs to me that there's likely a good metaphor here somewhere, but I'm not quite ready to make reaching for the olive oil into a spiritual practice...)

Preparing for trips always brings me a mix of excitement, anxiety and pressure (to pack the right things and remember the little stuff. Who am I kidding: to remember the big stuff. I'll not forget to Women's Retreat where I forgot to put my suitcase in the car, but remembered the odd supplies for activities...)

In addition, Conference brings added excitement and anxiety: will the church (my church, and the folks I'm closest to in it) find vision and hope in its gathering? Will we make decisions that will be beautiful? We get to do all those rites of passage: ordination, retirement, memorial service. All of which make me wonder what the church will be like when I get to the latter two.

I hope we'll find ways to move forward boldly, hanging onto the good stuff that gives us life.

Certainly, though, we'll get to share apricots.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

a farmer

I've been happy for a while now, knowing that I could go outside, touch some plants, and come back in with hands smelling of tomatoes. But now, oh, life is looking good. The fruits are growing.This afternoon, I drew a labyrinth on our driveway. (It was part of a project in which I'm living out my fantasies of being a graphic artist. A little chalk, a little Adobe Photoshop, some uploading, and life is good.)
While I was drawing the labyrinth (and before I played with Photoshop), a woman stopped to talk to me. She's from Somalia, and wanted to know if I lived in *that* house. I do. She told me I was a farmer, with a warm smile.

So, today I'm grateful for sidewalk chalk, labyrinths, my Mac, tomatoes, and neighbors--she says she just lives over on 50th Street.

Friday, June 01, 2007

friday five for hope

Today seems like a good day to play along on the RevGalPals Friday Five. Here goes:

1. Think back to the time you left High School, what were your hopes visions and dreams for your life/ for the world?
My dream was to leave western Nebraska for the big city (any one with a good art museum would do, but New York would be ideal) to live a life rich with the beautiful things of life. And, of course, to share them with others. (Professionally, this would involved being a director of educational programs at a fabulous museum.) My dream for the world is pretty much the same as now. Vines and fig trees for everyone. No fear. And all the weapons turned into farming tools. (My apologies to Micah.)

2. Have those hopes visions and dreams changed a lot, or are some of them still alive and kicking? (share one if you can)
See the post below.
There's also the matter of the dream that emerged in 3rd grade or so, when I discovered the Beach Boys. It involved California, beaches, palm trees, a swimming pool and a convertible. Now, I'm trying to sell the condo (with a pool) by the beach in San Diego, so I can live more comfortably in the house with a garden a few miles inland. And hopes of a convertible were (at least) put on hold, as houses are a bit pricey out here.

3. Hebrews 11:1 " Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. " Comforting, challenging or frustrating?
Yes. All at the same time.

4. If resources were unlimited, and you had free reign to pursue a vision what would it be?
Perhaps the convertible. Or chickens in the backyard.
And, of course, helping give birth to some kind of cool not-like-church-usually-is community in our neighborhood, where folks with amazing diversities can share together in the body of Christ.

5. Finally with summer upon us- and not to make this too heavy- share your dream holiday....where, when and who with...
There are too many good places. I'm definitely looking forward to trying out backpacking in the Sierras with my beloved this summer. (Our only other attempt at backpacking resulted in head injury, blood loss, fears of flood-induced whitewater rafting on ThermaRests, and little sleep. I guess that's NOT my dream vacation. Though in the end it was a good time and we made some swell friends...) Colorado's Rockies are always nice, too. Oh, and I discovered that the Big Island of Hawaii agrees with me, too. (Beautiful beaches, sea turtles and locally-grown coffee!)

how my (kingdom of god?) garden grows

Last evening, I hung my new collage creation on the fence in the backyard. I've been so delighted by my subconscious choice to plant a vine and a fig tree back there, and how this means I'm living into Micah's vision of the good stuff. Swords into plowshares and all that. No more war. Instead: vines and fig trees.

I used one of the nasty boards from the pile behind the shed--a piece of old trim that we tore out of the house. With all that ModPodge on there, it the grain looks pretty. New life, I suppose.

Now, I'm inspired to make another, but need to figure out what it should say or depict...

In other backyard news, I fashioned a set of four marshmallow roasters, with bent wire and bead decoration on the handles, too. They're hanging on a lovely holder. Now, the next time folks gather around our recycled brick firepit, and we want to make s'mores, we don't have to rummage for more wire hangers. They're already there and waiting.
Last weekend, I tore out most of the things that had been growing through the "cold season." (One has to write "cold season" with a little irony when she lives in San Diego.) So, I have lots of bare soil, waiting for things to sprout through it. But this corner, home to rhubarb, four tomatoes, strawberries growing full-tilt and some carrots I really ought to harvest, is GREEN. In the pot is a "yuca"--manioc. I planted one from the grocery store to see what would happen. It's growing!!
I continue to wait in anticipation for summer tomatoes. (If you remember those newspaper-pot tomatoes of long ago--they've gone back to the soil. But, thankfully, others grow on.)
And, a columbine plant is blooming. The poppies are still lovely. And, happily, the shortage of bees hasn't come to my yard. They're happily pollinating away here.

(Do you think Matt would let me keep a hive? He didn't go for the keeping-chickens plan...)

Thank God for growing things.